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Journey back to the ancient ocean with David Attenborough

The Natural History Museum, Atlantic Productions and Samsung collaborate for a world-first virtual reality storytelling experience. 

Virtual reality will showcase some of the Earth’s earliest inhabitants at the Natural History Museum from the 19 June. David Attenborough’s First Life is a new fully immersive experience bringing natural history to life with cinematic virtual reality technology by Samsung.

Created in partnership with Atlantic Productions and its virtual reality studio Alchemy VR, David Attenborough’s First Life reveals the dawn of life on Earth from 540 million years ago.

Based on the latest Museum research, long-extinct animals such as the whimsically-built Opabinia, the fearsome-looking Anomalocaris and the spiny, worm-like Hallucigenia will be brought vividly alive in a fully immersive encounter.

During the 15-minute experience, visitors dive through ancient seas with narration by Sir David Attenborough. The experience uses Samsung’s latest wearable technology, the Gear VR Innovator Edition virtual reality headsets powered by the Galaxy S6 smartphone.

Sir Michael Dixon, Director of the Natural History Museum, says: “We’re always looking for new ways to challenge the way people think about the natural world – its past, present and future. We know virtual reality technology can transport us to impossible places. This is a compelling example of how technology can revolutionise how we experience museums.”

Anthony Geffen, CEO of Atlantic Productions, said: “David Attenborough’s First Life VR experience is a landmark moment for virtual reality storytelling, where the world’s most celebrated naturalist is able to guide audiences through an ancient ocean. We are delighted to be pioneering this technology in partnership with Samsung and the Natural History Museum.”

Andy Griffiths, President of Samsung Electronics UK & Ireland, said: "This exciting new experience is a great example of how the Natural History Museum is at the forefront of innovation and we are proud to support this with our latest product innovations, the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the Gear VR.  At Samsung we believe technology is essential in enhancing digital learning, which is why we’re delighted to be working with the Natural History Museum on this project, helping people to discover the natural world like never before.”

Book tickets:

Notes for editors

World premiere of David Attenborough’s First Life at the Natural History Museum on Thursday 18 June, 8.30 –10.00. Please see the attached invitation.

To confirm attendance or for more information, contact Helen Green at the Natural History Museum.

Tel: 020 7942 5654  Email:  

Download images:  

(Not for publication)

Visitor information

Book tickets for 19 June onwards:


£6.50 for adults, £4.50 for members and patrons

Visitor enquiries:

020 7942 5000

Nearest tube:

South Kensington



    • The Natural History Museum welcomes five million visitors a year and is a world-leading science research centre. Through its unique collection and unrivalled expertise it is tackling the biggest challenges facing the world today. It helps enable food security, eradicate disease and manage resource scarcity. It is studying the diversity of life and the delicate balance of ecosystems to ensure the survival of our planet.

    • The Atlantic group contains a variety of companies which make television programmes, theatrical and IMAX films, apps, visual effects and now, immersive virtual reality experiences. Since its inception in 1992, Atlantic Productions has built a reputation for world-class storytelling, enhanced by the latest techniques and technologies including the building of pioneering cross-platform and digital experiences, most recently establishing a leading position in creating content for 3D, 4K and VR platforms. Atlantic’s television, theatrical and IMAX documentaries and dramas cover a great variety of subjects including: the recent BBC2 series Inside the Commons, landmark 8-part series Egypt Unwrapped and the theatrical doc about Everest – Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest and their films have been seen in over 100 countries.

    Atlantic is the recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious Huw Weldon BAFTA award for Specialist Factual twice in the last four years for David Attenborough’s Natural History Museum Alive 3D (2014) and David Attenborough’s Flying Monsters 3D (2011). International awards include multiple EMMY’s, Best Films at New York & Chicago Film Festivals, RTS awards, Lumiere Best European 3D Documentary Awards and Best 3D awards at the Wildscreen and Jackson Hole festivals. As innovators in new technology, Atlantic Productions uses multiple platforms to reach different audiences across the world. Several of its Apps have been nominated by Apple as their top 10 apps of the year.         

    • Alchemy VR: Born out of a collaboration between Atlantic Productions and Zoo VFX, Alchemy’s vision is to create the most compelling virtual reality storytelling experiences in the world. Alchemy combines visual effects, real time rendering, and live action video to create, narrative-driven Virtual Reality experiences. For more information visit

    • Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. inspires the world and shapes the future with transformative ideas and technologies, redefining the worlds of TVs, smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, cameras, digital appliances, printers, medical equipment, network systems, and semiconductor and LED solutions. We are also leading in the Internet of Things space through, among others, our Smart Home and Digital Health initiatives. We employ 307,000 people across 84 countries with annual sales of US $196 billion. To discover more, please visit our official website at and our official blog at